How to Prevent Toddler Tooth Decay
It is important to develop an effective dental health routine from a young age. Baby teeth are very important and tooth decay can develop as soon as the first tooth is visible. Tooth decay in toddlers can cause pain and discomfort, which can lead to an abscess or the need for an extraction if left untreated. Children that experience decay at a young age may have a need for treatment. Here are a few steps to prevent toddler tooth decay.
1. Daily Brushing Routine
It is important to start a daily brushing routine early on so that it becomes part of their schedule. From birth to 12 months you can keep your baby’s mouth clean by using a clean baby washcloth. This will also allow your baby to become familiar with having something in their mouth that will resemble toothbrush bristles in the future. As soon as your child’s first tooth appears it is important to brush your child’s teeth twice a day. Flossing is also important as soon as they have two teeth that touch each other. Brushing/flossing before they go to bed and ensuring that they do not fall asleep with a bottle (unless it’s filled with water) will minimize the risk for early childhood decay.
2. Regular Dental Visits
It is recommended that your child’s first dental visit be booked once their first tooth is visible or on their first birthday. It is best to have your child visit us at an early age not only to become familiar with our dental office and staff, but also before there is a problem with their teeth. In most cases, a dental exam every six months will allow us to recognize any concerns at an early stage. When your child comes for a dental exam, we will be able to look for decay and also check your child’s gums, jaw and bite. A positive experience for your child will also ensure they have good oral health.
Need to book your child’s first dental visit? Booking an appointment at a time convenient for you.
A well balanced diet is very important for children as they are at a time in their life where they are constantly growing and learning. Good nutrition is equally as important for their developing teeth. Eating or drinking too much sugar can cause tooth decay. Frequent snacking during the day can also cause sugars to stay in your mouth for a longer period of time. Keeping healthy sugar free snacks handy is a great way to limit sugars.
Developing good oral health habits is important to prevent tooth decay and maintain the health of your teeth and gums. Although your child’s first set of teeth eventually will fall out, having your child learn the importance of oral hygiene will ensure that they maintain their adult teeth as well.